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Iran's top body backs bill to increase uranium enrichment

December 6, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant in Iran seen on 10 November 2019 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

The Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said on Saturday that the recent bill to increase nuclear enrichment “is not in contradiction with the [Iranian] national interests.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had objected to the Strategic Act to Revoke Sanctions bill which was approved by the Iranian parliament. Rouhani said it will be “harmful” to the country’s diplomatic efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers.

However, the SNSC said in a statement such objections will “harm the reputation of the legal institutions of the country.”

US President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on January 20, has said that he would return to the pact and would lift sanctions if Tehran returned to “strict compliance with the nuclear deal”.

On Wednesday, the Iranian Guardian Council approved the parliament’s bill that allows Iran to reduce its nuclear commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The new bill requires Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation to enrich uranium at 20% purity and to increase its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium.

The 2015 nuclear deal allowed Iran only a 3.67% of uranium enrichment.

These developments came following the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last week in Tehran. Iranian officials blamed Israel for the assassination.

Read: Iran prepares to raise oil output if US sanctions eased